Raila Odinga has shared a personal story from his time as an election observer in Nigeria’s capital, Lagos. During a speech at the 2022 Leadership Conference and Awards, Mr. Odinga recounted out his experience with being arrested by police officers while on official duty in 2003.
At the time, Mr. Odinga was observing the election process in Lagos and found himself in a restricted area where members of the public had been banned.
When he was stopped by police officers, he was questioned for being in the area and was told that driving was not allowed due to the election. However, Mr. Odinga’s driver stepped in and informed the police that he was carrying “Oga” (the boss).
Despite explaining to the police that he was not a Nigerian, the officers insisted that he was lying and continued to hold him.
Eventually, Mr. Odinga showed them his passport and the officers realized their mistake. This experience, Mr. Odinga said, was a testament to the importance of standing firm and ensuring that the voice of the people is respected.
During his speech, Mr. Odinga also urged Nigerians to ensure that the voice of the people is heard in the upcoming February 25 General Election. The former Prime Minister emphasized that the voice of the people is the voice of God and must be respected.
He also reiterated his belief that the will of the people was subverted in the last presidential election in Kenya by elite politicians.
On Sunday, prior to his trip to Nigeria, Mr. Odinga spoke at a political rally in Nairobi, where he once again declared that his Azimio coalition had won the election.
He cited a dossier from an anonymous whistleblower within the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) as evidence. With the General Election in Nigeria fast approaching, it remains to be seen what the future holds for the country and the impact Mr. Odinga’s words will have on the election outcome.